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Thread: BARTENDER! The DRINKS Thread

  1. #91
    ^^^ (Cont'd )

    Turning Giraffe into a bar would prove to be an inspired decision. The loosening up would be best illustrated by the old, cumbersome divider making way for a resplendent, gleaming oval bar that encouraged guests to go around it, make friends, form connections. The concept-change didn’t seem palatable to some of the partners, so those not keen on the bar business bowed out, leaving only the five mentioned above to usher the business into its new chapter. Quicho sought out friends willing to bring in fresh capital. He found a savior in Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, then PLDT chair, who bought all the shares from the owners on their way out.

    Almost at the same time it shifted gears, Louie Cruz joined Giraffe as its PR director upon Quicho’s invitation. Son of J.V., the former Philippine ambassador to Britain, Cruz, a lifestyle columnist of Lopez-era Manila Chronicle, he of the off-the-shoulder blouses, was then best remembered for his Halakhakan parties, a series of soirees he organized after the Aquino assassination in ’83.

    “The first thing I did was invite the different groups within my circle of friends through a ‘leader’ of each group,” Cruz tells me. “And those groups represent different fields in society: the fashion designers, the business people, politics, people from entertainment.” Impressively connected, the mix of people on Cruz’s first night was any upscale bar’s dream crowd, among them the designer Budji Layug and socialite Eva Abesamis de Koenigswarter. The rest escapes Cruz now. By evening’s end, everyone had a fabulous time, and the owners present, giddy about the turnout, decided dinner and drinks would be on the house. The memorable evening would plant a seed that resulted in each guest returning the favor by patronizing the place over and over, bringing along with them their equally glamorous friends who would in turn spread the word about the new happening hangout.

    While the boldfaced names were a necessary ingredient for the bar’s early success, so were the expats who frequented it. “The Philippines then was at its peak economically, so there were a lot of transient businessmen around the Peninsula, the Shangri-La. Most of them, after work, or after a meeting, eventually ended up in Giraffe,” says JR Isaac, a regular.

    Their presence would become an essential ingredient in creating Giraffe’s seductive urbane, international vibe. Coupled with society’s crème de la crème—Baby Fores one night, Diana Jean Lopez the next, Cristina Valdez, Doody Tuason, and Menchu Soriano—it was a combination that attracted the rest of party-crazy Manila: yuppies, preppies, the beautiful people of the PMAP, or the Professional Models Association of the Philippines, Burgos girls and discreet call boys, tomboys and trannies, politicos and businessmen, cougars and DOMs, artistas and their cohorts. Cojuangco would bring Gretchen Barretto, who he was then still wooing. Melanie Marquez and Anna Bayle were at one time regulars. Pepe Smith would be seen partying with production designer Don Escudero. Rustan’s’ Nedy Tantoco would walk in with Mario Katigbak. “Where else do you see senators schmoozing with cross-dressers, expats with boy toys, debutantes with movie stars, and PR queen Louie Cruz doing his famous finger lickin’ dance?” wrote Leviste in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    While Giraffe did start its life as a fancy dining spot, only when it was transformed into a bar did the name eventually suit its own skin. “It finally made sense,” says Louie Cruz. “Because it was like a jungle, with all these predators and prey.” Indeed, no other animal could have symbolized the Giraffe world better, itself a creature of beauty, elegance and allure, but also forever sticking its neck out, the better for calling attention and for spotting the night’s would-be object of desire.

    “There was really an undercurrent of sexual energy inside Giraffe,” says Dingcong, “so if you stayed late and drank until 3 A.M., or what we call hora de peligro [hour of peril], it was already kind of a free-for-all, choose your own target.” Even one of the bar’s signature songs expressed outright libidinous declaration. Remember Mousse T’s “Horny ’98”? That was a big hit at Giraffe.

    Cruz would be the silent witness to the nightly hunter-and-hunted goings-on, watching the proceedings from his elevated corner by the kitchen, his bottle of Fundador conveniently at arm’s reach. Older men propositioning younger women, dusky women exiting the scene with white men, straight boys going home with gay boys. On some weeknights, when there wasn’t much of a crowd, Cruz would send the best-looking man in the room a drink, with the instruction for the waiter not to mention who sent it. The idea being one more drink would make the guy stay longer, encourage him to drink some more, get him going, and with his confidence boosted introduce himself to a lady, or a group of ladies, thinking one of them his secret admirer. Eventually, he would buy them drinks. And everyone, including the cash register, was happy.

    “It was always happy in Giraffe,” says Alta Tan, the former model who worked as public relations officer at Faces before taking on the same hat at the 6750 haunt. “Kung may gulo man, naka-publish na ’yon agad, and it’s always talk of the town.”

  2. #92
    Scots left reeling as Canadian whisky named world's best

    Saffron Alexander

    20 NOVEMBER 2015 • 11:28AM

    The Scots are renowned for their whisky but, for the second year in a row, whisky from another country has been named the best in the world.

    Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, a Canadian malt whisky, was awarded 97.5 marks out of 100 in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, earning it the title of world whisky of the year.

    Despite its stellar reputation in the whisky world, not a single Scottish whisky made the top five.

    Jim Murray's 2016 World Whiskies of the Year
    Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canada) - £47 a bottle
    Pikesville Straight Rye (USA) - £33 a bottle
    Midleton Dair Ghaelach (Ireland) - £180 a bottle
    William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot.2014) (USA) - £65 a bottle
    Suntory Yamazaki Mizunara (Bot.2014) (Japan) - £45 a bottle

    Editor of Becky Paskin said: "While it's disappointing that Scotch has been omitted from Murray's top five again, it's heartening to see that he's included a real mix of whiskies from around the world that aren't all selected from the luxury sphere.

    "The absence of Scotch, however puzzling, has no bearing at all on the quality of whisky coming from Scotland. Interest in world whisky is increasing and and drinkers are likely to want to experiment with the medley of styles and flavours available.

    "It's important to remember that, whether you agree with Murray's top five or not, this is just one man's opinion. My advice would be to go out and taste these whiskies for yourself."

    Despite not winning the coveted whisky of the year award, Scotland's Glenfarclas 1957 Family Cask 2110 did win the single cask of the year award.

    Whisky expert Murray tasted more than 1000 whiskies before deciding on the Crown Royal and called it a masterpiece: "Rye, that most eloquent of grains, not just turning up to charm and enthral but to also take us through a routine which reaches new heights of beauty and complexity.

    "To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice."

    Tom Sandham, one half of the Thinking Drinkers, said: "The news of a Canadian winner might surprise some, but it shouldn't.

    "The country has extraordinary whisky heritage. And rye is one of the original grains in North American whiskey production, it has long been re-asserting itself with connoisseurs and leading bartenders who use it in classic cocktails. So to see it break through here is evidence of the grains's resurgent popularity.

    "But remember this is only one view, and a nice bit of publicity for man, brand and whisky as a whole, but the only way you'll determine what you like is if you try things. Lots of different things. The great thing about whisky is that a wider demographic is now engaging, which is excellent because there are hundreds of stunning whiskies being made all around the world right now."

    Yvonne Briese, Vice President of Crown Royal said: "Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye showcases the rye whisky that has been such an integral component of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend since 1939. This is a testament to the unbelievable blending and distilling that’s been taking place in Gimli for over 75 years.

    "We are thrilled that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has been named World Whisky of the Year."

    Some whisky connoisseurs were sceptical of the win, with specialist whisky author Charles MacLean telling The Times the success of foreign winners was a marketing ploy: "You should compare like with like. These whiskies from around the world are all made to be different. Canadian whisky allows for all sorts of additives, such as prune juice to sweeten it.

    "This is forbidden in Scotch, which has strictly defined terms of how it can be made. It must have the flavour derived only from the raw materials: barley, water and yeast. Nothing may be added."

    However, Murray defended his choice robustly: "Last year people were shocked when I gave [Japanese whisky] Yamazaki the award - until they tasted it. Then they saw it was not the affront to Scotch they first thought and something truly extraordinary.

    "This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it comes to the world's top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky's uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye."

    The winners in full


    Scotch Whisky of the Year - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110

    Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks) - Glen Grant 10yo

    Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110

    Scotch Blend of the Year - The Last Drop 50yo

    Scotch Grain of the Year - Clan Deny Cambus 1987 25yo #9320

    Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year - Compass Box The Lost Blend


    No Age Statement (Multiple Casks) - Ardberg Supernova 2009

    No Age Statement (Runner Up) - Laphroaig An Cuan Mor

    10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks) - Glen Grant 10yo

    10 Years & Under (Single Cask) - Saar Gruwehewwel

    11-15 Years (Multiple Casks) - Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Strathmill 2002

    11-15 Years (Single Cask) - SMWS 4.199 (Highland Park 1999)

    16-21 Years (Multiple Casks) - Old Pulteney 21yo

    16-21 Years (Single Cask) - Old Malt Cask Highland Park 1998

    22-27 Years (Multiple Casks) - Glen Moray Port Cask Finish

    22-27 Years (Single Cask) - Wemyss Kirsch Gateau (Bunnahabhain)

    28-34 Years (Multiple Casks) - Tomatin 1988 25yo Batch 2

    28-34 Years (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1985 Family Casks #2593

    35-40 Years (Multiple Casks) - Tomatin 36yo Rare Casks Batch 1

    35-40 Years (Single Cask) - BenRiach 1977 Batch 11

    41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks) - Ledaig 42 Years Old

    41 Years & Over (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110


    No Age Statement (Standard) - Ballantine’s Finest

    No Age Statement (Premium) - Ballantine’s Limited

    5-12 Years - Johnie Walker Black Label

    13-18 Years - Ballantine’s 17

    19 – 25 Years - Royal Salute 21

    26 – 50 Years - The Last Drop 50 Years Old Sherry Wood


    Irish Whiskey of the Year - Midleton Dair Ghaelach

    Irish Pot Still Whiskey of the Year - Midleton Dair Ghaelach

    Irish Single Malt of the Year - SMWS 118.3

    Irish Blend of the Year - Powers Gold Label


    Bourbon of the Year - William Larue Weller 2014

    Rye of the Year - Pikesville Rye 110 Proof

    US Micro Whisky of the Year - Notch 12

    US Micro Whisky of the Year (Runner Up) - McCarthy’s Batch U14-01


    No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) - William Larue Weller 2014

    No Age Statement (Single Barrel) - Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project Barrel 20

    9 Years & Under - Booker’s Bourbon 63.95%

    10-17 Years (Multiple Barrels) - Eagle Rare 17yo 2014


    No Age Statement - Thomas H Handy

    Up to 10 Years - Pikesville Straight Rye 110 Proof

    11 Years & Over - Sazerac 18yo 2014


    Wheat Whiskey of the Year - Parker’s Heritage 13yo / Release 8


    Canadian Whisky of the Year - Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye


    Japanese Whisky of the Year - Yamazaki Mizunara 2014 (Japan only)

    Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Barrels) - Yamazaki Mizunara 2014 (Japan only)

    Single Malt of the Year (Single Barrel) - SMWS 119.14


    European Whisky of the Year (Multiple) - English Whisky Co. Chapter 16 / Peated Sherry Cask

    European Whisky of the Year (Single) - Kornog Taouarc’h Chweec’hved 14 BC


    Asian Whisky of the Year - Amrut Greedy Angels 10yo

    Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year - Heartwood The Good Convict

  3. #93
    9 Old-School Pinoy Beers You Were Too Young to Drink

    Or you probably weren't alive back then for these tito tagayan hits.

    By MAAN D'ASIS PAMARAN | 3 days ago

    Craft beers may be the literal and figurative buzz these days, but it may take some time before the traditional tambays get their taste of these golden brewed beverages on tap. The market is still dominated by the bottled brews that we have all grown used to - San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Red Horse (that comes with the corresponding Happy Horse urban legend) and San Mig Light (mahaba-habang inuman!).

    For those who have started drinking from the '80s onwards, though, they would recall a time when there were more choices that could be bought from the neighborhood suking tindahan. We look back at some of these drinks that our titos, titas, and tatays enjoyed back in the day.

    Gold Eagle Beer

    It was a light-bodied low-cost beer that was made for "easy drinking" by the San Miguel Corporation. The target market was the workingman, with endorsers such as Ka Freddie Aguilar in a sepia-toned homage to the simple life in the countryside. A cheeky commercial with Idol April Boy Regino extolled the virtues of having a cold one as a reward to getting over daily challenges while dishing out innuendoes about a farmer na magaling mag-araro, and a mechanic na magaling mangalikot, with pretty girls smilingly serving the beverages.

    Stag Pale Pilsen

    Because of its cheap price, this slightly bitter beer with a "complex" aroma by Asia Brewery found an unintended market ? high school boys sneaking in a few drinks at house parties. Its most notable endorser was action star Jeric Raval, who is said to embody the young market at the time, with a campaign titled "Sa Daigdig ng Malaya" where the message is you can be anything you want to be.

    Manila Beer

    It was sold as a low-cost extra strong beer, perfect for hanging out with the boys. It was launched in 1985 and has since been reformulated and relaunched by Asia Brewery sometime in 2010 as a walang sabit and no-hangover beverage to reach a young, hip market.

    Beer Hausen

    Its main draw was that it was a "natural beer" because it was brewed using mountain spring water. It was the first beer brand launched by Asia Brewery in 1982 to go against San Miguel's decades of dominance.

    Since beer and sports traditionally go together, here's a little basketball trivia: Beer Hausen had its own PBA team headlined by El Presidente Ramon Fernandez. It was the start of the Fernandez-Jaworski rivalry as the two former Toyota teammates battled it out for several seasons for hardcourt dominance.


    In 1987, Asia Brewery received the license to brew the international brand in the Philippines, and it received so much hype. Pinoys who wanted to be seen as more worldly jumped on the chance to try this new premium beer that came in a green bottle instead of the usual amber/brown. Taste-wise, the Euro pale did not really fit with the Filipino palate, and its aroma was a sharp contrast to the sweetish smell of "chico" that Pinoys are used to.

    Beer na Beer

    It was originally launched by Asia Brewery as Beer Pale Pilsen in 1988, and it caused a big controversy in Philippine industry as San Miguel claimed copyright infringement and unfair competition. Asia Brewery won the first round at the Pasig Regional Trial Court but the decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals in 1991, Asia Brewery was prohibited from using the brand name. Beer Pale Pilsen was then renamed Beer na Beer.

    The big to-do didn't stop there either. In a battle that was said to be the clash of the Titans, Lucio Tan-led Asia Brewery filed a case at the Marikina Regional Trial court against then-Danding Cojuanco-led San Miguel in 1997, claiming that San Miguel allegedly hoarded, smashed, and illegally removed Asia Brewery's empty beer bottles and plastic crates from circulation.

    Flavor-wise, Beer na Beer is said to be preferred by 9 out of 10 beer drinkers in a blind taste test, for its "Smooth, clean, and refreshing" beer taste that won three Monde Selection Gold Medals in Brussels.


    Drinking beer was often seen as the province of manly men, but the entry of San Miguel's Lagerlite showed the successful women can imbibe too. With commercials that featured then-newscaster Loren Legarda, pop singer Joey Albert, and director Laurice Guillen taking a break, many of Manila's career women took notice and started to celebrate their own personal successes with a cold beer in hand.

    The tagline was "Lady, you deserve a break," and it was a groundbreaking move that liberated many women from societal expectations?to give you a picture of how it was, the only other alcoholic drink marketed towards women at the time was Maria Clara Sangria (you get the picture, right?). Of course, it has to be said that Lagerlite was originally targeted towards men but they did not take to it well, thinking it was not "macho" to drink light beer, so advertising shifted to women.

    Max Premium Beer

    Do you remember Max Beer? The internet doesn't. What we do know is that it was the second beer product launched by Asia Brewery, launched in 1983 as the company's answer to San Miguel's Red Horse.

    Halili Beer

    This brand of beer was said to have gone head to head with San Miguel in the 1960s. Halili Beer was manufactured by former Bulacan Governor Fortunato Halili's F.F. Halili Enterprises at their plant located in Balintawak along with non-alcoholic drinks Mission Orange and Goody Root Beer. They also had their own transportation line, Halili Transit & Taxicab. Rumor was that it was so successful San Miguel tried to buy them out.
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 11-21-2017 at 02:23 PM.

  4. #94
    ^ I also remember Blue Ice Beer and Labatt Ice Beer, but those were from the 1990's.

  5. #95
    Why Scotch whisky is no longer just your father's drink

    By: Micky Fenix -Columnist Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM March 08, 2018

    With much food and drink vying for the attention of diners these days, it takes a worldwide event to remind us about a nation's cooking and its extraordinary spirits.

    One of these is Gout de France, a celebration of French cuisine established by Alain Ducasse in 2015. This happens annually on March 21 in 150 countries, with some 3,000 chefs participating, including 18 in the Philippines.

    Scotland, on the other hand, fetes its renowned drink through the liquor company Diageo. International Scotch Day is on Feb. 8, with many places throughout the world holding tasting sessions, lectures about this revered Scotch whisky, and general merriment with socializing and music.

    Master class

    My interest was to learn what makes each Scotch whisky different. And the man conducting the master class I attended was Ervin Trykowski, introduced as the company’s "ambassador."

    One expected a James Bond figure with a Scottish accent to charm us into the world of whisky. Instead, here was someone who seemed too young for the role - hip, fast talker, quirky movements, and who even had a flask pocket in his boots.

    But this must be the message Scotland and Diageo wanted to send: Scotch whisky is no longer just your father's drink. It is also for young men and women—drank straight (neat), on the rocks or mixed in cocktails.

    Trykowski, despite his age and demeanor, is a veteran at setting up bars in the trendy Finnieston in Glasgow. He was the Scotch ambassador in Scotland and now goes around the world promoting the product.

    In front of us, his students for the day, were six glasses. Our first lesson was how not to drink scotch. Don't swirl it as you would brandy. Just drink it, because flavor is the most important quality.

    There we were, with just a minute sampling of the 400 million bottles of scotch. And just to compare figures, our teacher said the population of Scotland is only 5 million.

    During the tasting, Trykowski said mixing the scotch whisky with ice helped to bond the atoms together, allowing the drinker to get more texture. Ice was then passed around.

    Richer and riper

    Of the six whiskies, the Johnnie Walker brand is familiar. Black Label - "considered the best whisky in the world," according to Trykowski - is blended from four different distillery areas in Scotland.

    I was made aware of a Double Black Label when I asked a friend what his favorite scotch whisky is. But his preference is Japanese whisky, which is not considered scotch whisky.

    How uncanny that, as I wrote this, there was a feature on a Japanese company that bought a Scotch whisky company and is operating at a distillery in Scotland. Thus, its product can be called Scotch whisky.

    Trykowski described the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve as richer and riper, a celebration bottle that's great with ice cream.

    The Johnnie Walker Blue Label, meanwhile, the most expensive brand, was said to have been a favorite of a former Philippine president.

    Our teacher was effusive in his praise, describing the Blue Label as the smoothest, with flavor hints of green apples, candy, ginger and rose - if you can imagine all that in one or two sips.

    But I must agree with Trykowski and with the former Philippine president. Of the six whiskies before us, the Blue Label was also this neophyte's choice.

    Single malts

    The rest were three single malts, meaning, each was processed in a single distillery, even if it takes six distilleries to produce enough bottles, such as the Singleton of Dufftown 12. Europeans are partial to this dark whisky because it exudes the fruity flavors of cherry, apple, red currant and raspberries.

    It is Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition that has a more floral scent, possibly from being double-matured in Oloroso casks that are also used to store sherry in Spain.

    Finally, there was Talisker 10, produced in the Isle of Skye in a 200-year-old distillery. It takes on the smell of the place, so the flavor is fiery, peat-smoke, a bit medicinal. When Trykowski mentioned heather as one of the aromas, that brought me back to Edinburgh, where the violet flowers of heather grow wild along the hills and roads, and made me wish I was back there - but this time with Scotch whisky in hand.

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